June 29th, 2006

physics

Smart Car

I see that DaimlerChrysler is going to introduce the Smart Car in the US in 2008.

Not exactly a SUV; it is almost short enough to park at 90 degrees to the curb...

Smart Car

While we were in Italy last year the car we rented was a Smart, but it was the bigger 4 door version. Here is our car parked in Saint Gimignano:

Smart Car for 4
huh?

Card deckery in the '60s

Back in the bad old days the only method of inputting anything new into a computer was via punched cards. The IBM 026 Key Punch machine was the way to do it. They rented for $50 a month (this was before the IBM antitrust suit whose result was that IBM had to sell as well as rent equipment). The machine was actually slightly programmable - there was a drum with a specially prepared punched card on it that could specify things such as that certain columns had numbers only or have the equivalent of tabs. Most programming languages had column specific meanings such as column 7 being the start of an actual statement in Fortran and columns 72-80 were for sequence numbers.

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